Pro CX: Keough Controls Lead in early October; Ortenblad Uses Duel to Lead Men
Kaitlin Keough (Racine, Wisc./Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) extended her lead in the women’s ProCX standings with a victory in the C1 race and a hard-fought third place in the C2 event at KMC Cross Fest. Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine/Aspire Racing) scored two seventh-place finishes in Conn. to retain her second place position in the women’s standings. Crystal Anthony (Newbury Park, Calif./Maxxis-Shimano) moved up on spot to third overall by finishing fifth at KMC Cross Fest races.
Maghalie Rochette (St-Jerome,Quebec/CLIF Pro Team) moved to fourth and Caroline Mani (Besancon, France/Van Dessel) moved to fifth overall in ProCX. Rochette finished second at both days of racing in Conn., while Mani finished Sunday’s event in eighth place.
“Both days were good battles with the Cannondale girls, which are also my friends. I really wanted to win. I’m kind of tired of being second,” added Rochette, who had two seconds at Rochester Cyclocross to begin the season. “I couldn’t do any more and I am happy with that. It is all good.”
With her first win of the ProCX season at the C2 race and a bronze finish at the C1 race in Conn., Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale p/b Cyclocross-World.com) moved from 10th to sixth overall in the ProCX standings. “This is definitely the biggest ride of the season. I haven’t had a ride that I was totally happy with until today,” said White, who is currently the top-ranked Under-23 woman as well.
With two victories at C2 races in West Sacramento, Katerina Nash (Czech Republic/CLIF Pro Team) continues in eighth position on ProCX standings. The big movers for the week were Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Montpellier, France/Sas Macogep Aquisio) and Courtenay McFadden (Bellingham, Wash./American Classic/Zones). Ferrier-Bruneau had two Top 10 finishes at KMC Cross Fest to move from 17th to eighth overall in the standings. McFadden, who is coming back from hip surgery earlier in the year, fought to two silver finishes at WSCXGP to move from 22nd to 14th overall in the standings.
Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz-Donkey Label Racing) charged to the ProCX lead for elite men with back-to-back wins at KMC Cross Fest. The wins gave him a slime 10-point margin over Stephen Hyde (Easthampton, Mass./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who finished second to Ortenblad in the C2 contest and fourth in C1 battle.
“It was a double weekend. This race is super pack oriented. I personally love races like this. It has been a great weekend for ProCX points, US Cup points, UCI points, sponsor exposure, everything. A win-win-win for sure,” said Ortenblad about his back-to-back victories in Conn. and taking the ProCX points lead for the elite men.
Laurens Sweeck (Leuven, Belgium/ERA Real Estate-Circus), who won the C1 race at Clif Bar CrossVegas, did not race in the U.S. this week and moved to third overall in the standings. Moving from seventh to fourth overall was 19-year-old Spencer Petrov (Mason, Ohio/Aspire Racing). He finished second to Ortenblad in the C1 race. Rounding out the Top 5 is Jeremy Powers (Southampton, Mass./Aspire Racing).
Using a win and a second-place finish at WSCXGP in Calif., reigning U.S. U-23 Cyclocross National Champion Lance Haidet (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Donnelly Sports) moved up one spot to seventh position in the ProCX standings. Other big movers were riders who grabbed the other podium spots at WSCXGP, Anthony Clark (Feeding Hills, Mass./Squid Squad) and Allen Krughoff (Boulder, Colo./Krughoff Racing). Clark moved from 38th to 19th overall with a victory and third-place finish, and Krughoff jumped 26 spots to 22nd overall with a second and third.
“I worked really hard all summer and I just wanted to show people that I belong at World Cups, I belong at these races and I belong at the front, and it feels really good,” said Clark at WSCXGP, still racing strong at age 30, while Krughoff is 33. “I can go home and tell (my son) Gavin all the good news, it makes me very happy. Everyone we raced against is getting so darn good, so it makes me really proud to maybe beat these guys.”
As part of USA Cycling’s ProCX season, the first of 11 contests for Men’s 17-18 Juniors were held in Thompson, Conn. RAD Racing NW teammates went one-two on Friday night, Calder Wood (Anacortes, Wash.) scoring the victory just ahead of Scott Funston (Maple Valley, Wash.). On Sunday, Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Scotts Valley, Calif./Top Club CycloCross) took the win ahead of Alex Morton (Saint Clair, Mich./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). Wood takes the early lead in ProCX points for Junior Men, with Gomez Villafane in second and Funston in third. Morton is fourth overall.
KMC Cross Fest was also the start for the ShoAir US Cup-CX series. A prize purse of $20,000 will be shared equally for the top woman and man at the final of seven events to be held in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4. Ortenblad leads the competition for the men. On the women’s side, White was awarded the leader’s jersey on Sunday, but was tied for the points lead with Keough and Rochette.
“I believe Emma, myself and Maghalie are tied (ShoAir US Cup-CX points), so that is interesting. I am really happy to take the win Friday because it is the start of the US Cup races. So next weekend we go to Baltimore, and I’m interested to see what the course is like. It should be good,” added ProCX women’s leader Keough.
Next on the schedule for ProCX is Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Mary. (Oct. 7-8). Charm City Cross will be held at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore for a 13th year. It is the eighth year for internationally-sanctioned races for elite men and women, and the second of four events for the SHO-AIR US CUP-CX series.
Two events for the American Cyclocross Calendar (ACXC) were held in Memphis, Tenn. at the Tri-Star CX and in Roanoke, Va. at the GO Cross presented by Deschutes Brewery. Results for both events can be found at usacycling.org; click here for Tri-Star CX and click here for GO Cross presented by Deschutes Brewery. The next stop for ACXC will be held in early November in Falmouth, Mass. for the Really RAD Festival of Cyclocross.
USA Cycling ProCX features the premier cyclocross events in America and uses an overall ranking system to determine the best individual male and female ‘cross racers over the course of the season. The ProCX calendar includes 43 UCI-inscripted Category 1 and Category 2 races in the country. For information on the ProCX, visit https://www.usacycling.org/procx/. For information on the ACXC, visit https://www.usacycling.org/usa-cycling-cyclo-cross-national-calendar-cxnc.htm. Follow Pro CX all season on Twitter - @USACProCX (#ProCX).